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NCJ Number: 63126 Find in a Library
Title: WHO SHOULD SENTENCE - THE JUDGE, THE LEGISLATURE OR...?
Journal: JUDGES' JOURNAL  Volume:17  Issue:1  Dated:(WINTER 1978)  Pages:12-15,44-45
Author(s): J M KRESS
Corporate Author: American Bar Assoc Press
Publications Coordinator
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Assoc Press
Chicago, IL 60637
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: RESPONSIBILITY FOR SENTENCE DETERMINATION IS DISCUSSED, EMPHASIZING THE NEED FOR JUDICIAL SENTENCING AND GUIDELINES TO ASSURE EQUAL TREATMENT FOR OFFENDERS.
Abstract: ALTHOUGH THE LAY PUBLIC FAVORS JUDICIAL SENTENCING, AUTHORITY IN THIS AREA IS OFTEN SHARED BY JUDICIAL SENTENCING COUNCILS, PROBATION OFFICERS, PROSECUTORS, THE LEGISLATURE, AND THE PAROLE BOARD. BECAUSE THESE ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING AUTHORITIES ARE INADEQUATE, TIME-CONSUMING, OR UNREALISTIC, THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACTUAL SENTENCING SHOULD REST WITH THE TRIAL JUDGE. A STATISTICAL AND ANALYTICAL STUDY OF ACTUAL CASES BEFORE TRIAL JUDGES WAS USED TO PRODUCE A SYSTEM OF GUIDELINES FOR JUDICIAL DECISIONMAKING. THE DATA HELPED IDENTIFY THOSE CHARACTERISTICS OF OFFENSES AND OFFENDERS WHICH APPEARED TO ACCOUNT FOR JUSTIFIABLE VARIATIONS IN SENTENCING. THIS DESCRIPTIVE MATERIAL WAS THEN GIVEN TO JUDGES AS AN AID TO CONTROL AND MONITOR THEIR SENTENCING POLICIES. EVENTUALLY GUIDELINES WERE ESTABLISHED WHICH PROVIDED A MODEL SENTENCE TO EACH TRIAL COURT JUDGE, SPECIFICALLY RELEVANT TO THE CASE AT HAND, AND REPRESENTING WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE AVERAGE SENTENCE OF ALL THE JUDGES IN THAT JURISDICTION. THE GOAL OF THIS METHOD IS EQUITY IN SENTENCING PRACTICES BY ACHIEVING CONSISTENCY OVER TIME AND OVER AN ENTIRE COURT SYSTEM. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Decisionmaking; Equal Protection; Judicial discretion; Sentencing guidelines; Standards
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63126

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